My Comments About Rand Paul In The New York Times

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has been making headlines recently for his testy media interviews, in which he has scolded, dismissed, and even “shushed” an anchor.

I wrote about one such exchange in February, and he had yet another similar incident on Wednesday with Savannah Guthrie, co-anchor of The Today Show.

I spoke to Alan Rappeport of The New York Times this afternoon about Paul’s media strategy, which I believe is counterproductive. Here’s an excerpt of his story:

“As Mr. Paul is likely to do many more interviews as he seeks the Republican nomination, First Draft checked in with a media coach to see how the Kentucky senator can improve.

‘The advice I would give to him is to always remember the interview is not with the reporter,’ said Brad Phillips, president of Phillips Media Relations. ‘The reporter is the conduit to the audience you want to reach out to.’

Mr. Phillips said candidates and politicians can be successful with an aggressive approach toward the media until it begins to erode their likability. Taking a ‘happy warrior’ approach, smiling more and giving off a warmer vibe, Mr. Phillips said, would behoove Mr. Paul as voters start to pay more attention.

‘If somebody who gives the perception as being peevish were to get the nomination, the historical trend makes clear that person would be running at a disadvantage,’ he said.”

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